Laws on Resisting Arrest in Florida

Our Broward County criminal attorney explains the aspects of resisting arrest in Florida. In order to maintain law and order and apprehend suspects without violence, the state of Florida has enacted a variety of laws that enable both law enforcement officials and others to arrest those accused of crimes and well as those they have reasonable grounds to believe are engaged in criminal activities. The state legislature also prohibits those being arrested from resisting same.


Resisting Arrest in Florida

Use of Force:

A law enforcement officer or any person summoned by a law enforcement official to help them make an arrest is justified in using force to make the arrest if the person concerned is resisting arrest in Florida. Additionally, a law enforcement official can use force to arrest a felon fleeing the arrest or the attempt to place them under arrest. –Broward Criminal Lawyer

Prohibition against Resisting Arrest in Florida

Florida law prohibits a person being arrested by a law enforcement official from resisting the arrest. If the arrest is being carried out by a law enforcement official in good faith and if the person attempting to perform the arrest appears to be a law enforcement official, the law prohibits the person being arrested from resisting. –Broward County Defense Lawyer

Arrest without Warrant

A law enforcement official has the right to arrest without a warrant of they have reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed a criminal act, is fleeing the jurisdiction of the law enforcement official, or the official has seen the person commit a criminal act. The official can also arrest a person without a warrant if they have reasonable cause to believe that the person committed an act of domestic violence or child abuse. 

Arrest with Warrant

A law enforcement official arresting a person with a warrant is expected to provide reasonable notice to the person being arrested except when there is cause to fear that the person will flee. However, there is no legal requirement that the law enforcement official carries the arrest warrant on them. –William Moore

Florida has laws in place to ensure that law enforcement officials can carry out their duties without encountering resistance. This includes providing them with the right to arrest without a warrant in certain circumstances. The law prohibits the person being arrested from resisting arrest and empowers the law enforcement official to use reasonable force to accomplish the arrest if resisted. –William Moore

Rights of the Arrested

While Florida law prohibits a person from resisting arrest and permits the law enforcement official or any person assisting them to use force to arrest a person who is resisting, the arrested person too has rights. The law enforcement official has to produce the arrested person before a court within a reasonable time after the arrest. This depends on the location of the arrest and the working hours of the court. –William Moore

At this time the arrested person has the constitutional right to refuse questioning until speaking with a criminal defense lawyer. Additionally, the law enforcement official is expected to inform the arrested person of the reason for the arrest. This, in some cases provides the arrested person the opportunity to explain their actions and attempt to establish their innocence.


Even if the law enforcement official is carrying out the arrest under a mistaken belief, the law in Florida expects the subject being arrested to cooperate with the official. The law provides relief to the innocent being arrested by ensuring their quick release once they have been produced in court by the arresting official. Resisting arrest even if the law enforcement official or their helper does not have a warrant can lead to the use of force cautions Criminal Lawyer William Moore.

By William Moore


William Moore

William Moore is a well respected Criminal Defense Lawyer in Broward County, Florida who has focused his legal career exclusively on criminal defense. Attorney Moore has litigated over 200 criminal jury trials in Broward County of all degrees and severities with great success.In addition to practicing criminal litigation, William Moore regularly lectures on criminal defense tactics in Broward. William Moore has also authored over one thousand works outlining and explaining criminal defense tactics and strategies. Most of William Moore's work is available upon request. William Moore is the founder of the criminal defense firm William Moore Criminal Defense in Fort Lauderdale.

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